While young people in South Africa today
enjoy the rights of freedom of speech and association, those
same young people are denied the economic rights of engaging in
meaningful employment so as to fully realise their potential and
While young people today enjoy the human
rights necessary to stimulate and nurture their positive
development in society, those same young people are ravaged by
the scourge of HIV/AIDS which scourge is further exacerbated by
the ANC government's inaction, confusion and blundering when it
comes to this national emergency.
The IFP Youth Brigade is of the firm view
that the young people of this country deserve the right to
fulfil their human potential, realise their aspirations and
become drivers of their own development.
The IFP Youth Brigade further believes
that it is time for human rights to translate into economic
rights for young people. In this regard the IFP Youth Brigade
will embark upon a campaign to highlight how young people have
been dealt the short end of the stick when it comes to enjoying
economic rights in this country.
Through seminars, workshops, radio
interviews and targeted interventions with NGO's and civil
society, the IFP Youth Brigade will expose the disjuncture that
exists between government's promises to young people and the
reality on the ground.
The IFP Youth Brigade believes that it is
the right of every young person to receive quality education,
develop their skills and acquire knowledge. Instead of extending
the doors of learning to all young South Africans, the ANC
government has called for all students who fail their first year
of tertiary education to be expelled from institutions of higher
Instead of the free education that the ANC
promised the youth of this country, this government is cutting
down on the little funding that it allocates to educational
institutions. The IFP Youth Brigade therefore deplores this
state of affairs that systematically and substantially erodes
young people's right to education.
The IFP Youth Brigade believes that the
young people of this country deserve the right to a safe and
secure society that is free from crime, rape and violence. Today
however, young people bear the brunt of violent crimes and young
women are still the helpless victims of rape and domestic abuse.
The IFP Youth Brigade will henceforth
mobilise its structures to be activists for a safe and
crime-free society. By joining hands with Community Policing
Forums, reporting criminal activity wherever it occurs and by
holding the justice system to account, the IFP Youth Brigade
will ensure that young people rise to the full measure of
exercising their rights.
Our country is endowed with an abundance
of natural and financial resources. Our country's greatest
resource however is its young people.
With the current process of Black Economic
Empowerment that involves billions of rands, it is very
discouraging to see how little if any of the BEE resources are
channelled towards the development of young people.
The IFP Youth Brigade will begin a public
discourse that will highlight how BEE has not benefited the
majority of the young people of this country. Through lobbying
of business and picketing of government development agencies,
the IFP Youth Brigade will advocate for greater resources to be
diverted towards young people.
With the drastically high number of
unemployed young people, it is a tragedy that the ANC government
wastes resources on government road shows dubbed 'imibizos' and
continues to prop up ineffective youth development agencies such
as the National Youth Commission and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund.
The youth of this country were promised
one million jobs in the ANC's 2004 election manifesto, but
instead of job creation the young people of this country are
being retrenched in their thousands in the formal sector and the
government has consistently failed to introduce a viable and
sustainable job creation strategy.
The IFP Youth Brigade calls upon
government to invest directly into young people themselves. The
IFP Youth Brigade will continue to lead the campaign for the
creation of a Youth Ministry at national level and the
disbandment of the cumbersome Umsobomvu Youth Fund and National
The spirit of Ubuntu-Botho, which has
always been the guiding spirit of the IFP, affirms thus: "I
am because you are."
The IFP Youth Brigade believes that
society has the responsibility to provide young people with the
tools they need to safeguard their health. It is only young
people who are healthy and responsible who will be able to
secure a future that is prosperous and productive.
In this regard the IFP Youth Brigade will
transform its branches into HIV/AIDS BRIGADES whose main task
will be to sensitise young people about healthy living, promote
abstinence and a return to traditional values and initiate
community activities that take care of those who are infected or
affected by HIV/AIDS.
Through its programmes the IFP Youth
Brigade aims to instil a sense of responsibility in young people
that will see them take charge of their own lives. All IFP Youth
Brigade constituencies and district structures will organise ' I
am running away from AIDS' marathons at High School level in
order to spread the message of healthy living to young people
where they are most vulnerable.
The heroes and heroines of June 16 1976
laid down their lives to ensure that future generations of young
people could exercise their rights, have access to resources and
become responsible young leaders.
The young people of this country deserve
better than the current crop of policies of a government that
shunts youth development to the periphery of economic and social
progress. The IFP Youth Brigade believes that young people
should be at the centre of development.
The IFP Youth Brigade commits itself to
being the champion of youth development.
Thulasizwe Buthelezi - 083 482 7936
IFP Youth Brigade National Chairperson